13th Apr 2020

The WELL Building Standard: 7 Steps to a Healthier Workplace

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The WELL Building Standard is the first system of its kind to measure buildings (and everything in them!) on their ability to advance human health and wellness.

It was created by the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) which is committed to creating spaces that help people thrive. The Standard is all about improving the comfort, drive and even the decision-making of those using a space.

Our Interior Designer, Rebecca, is currently working towards the IWBI’s WELL Building Standard qualification. This means we’ll be able to officially advise others on achieving WELL status, something we’re very much looking forward to!

Buildings can achieve a Silver, Gold or Platinum Well Building Standard Certification. There are certain conditions to achieve at each level, and at the core of it all are the Standard’s seven topics which we’ve summarised here.

How far do you think your workplace is from achieving WELL Building status?

1. Water

Over two-thirds of the human body is made up of water, so keeping hydrated is a key component of a healthy lifestyle.

The WELL Standard promotes safe, high-quality water that’s filtered properly and tested regularly. It also says that ‘optimal quality’ water should be available throughout a building for hygiene and cleaning purposes as well as drinking.

2. Nourishment

It goes without saying that proper nutrition is essential for wellbeing, but only 8% of people get their recommended servings of fruit and vegetables per day!

The Standard suggests making fresh and wholesome foods available and limiting unhealthy ingredients. This should encourage better eating habits and a healthy food culture within a space.   

3. Light

Minimising disruption to the body’s circadian rhythm helps a person to stay productive throughout the day. And light, or the lack of it, can impact this in positive and negative ways.

WELL, therefore, promotes indoor spaces that provide appropriate light exposure. Lighting systems should be designed to increase alertness and promote relaxation or sleep where needed.

4. Fitness

We all know that regular physical activity is good for achieving optimal health, but WELL claim that the majority of people simply aren’t active. That’s isn’t good news… because a lack of physical activity is an independent risk factor for various chronic diseases.

Workplaces should, therefore, support active lifestyles where exercise is a part of everyday life.

5. Comfort

WELL requirements help people design distraction-free, productive and comfortable indoor environments. Something that’s particularly important to us here at Blueprint Interiors too!

If someone isn’t comfortable at work, they’re not at their happiest and the impact of this isn’t to be sniffed at. You can read more about why in our blog ‘Happy Workers are Productive Workers’.

6. Mind

Over 30% of adults will experience a common mental health problem during their lifetime.

Failure to address mental health in the workplace can have all sorts of negative impacts, and although this may be tricky to address, good solutions do exist.

The Mind section of the WELL Standard introduces design, programmatic and policy strategies that leverage the built environment to positively influence mental wellbeing.

7. Air

Breathing clean air is critical for our health, and according to WELL, air pollution is the number one environmental cause of premature mortality. It contributes to around 7 million premature deaths worldwide, not a nice statistic at all.

That’s why the Standard establishes requirements in buildings that reduce or minimise sources of indoor air pollution.  

Workspaces that prioritise wellbeing

The WELL Standard is a forward-thinking movement. We’ve no doubt that Rebecca’s accreditation will help us to step it up a gear when creating workspaces that prioritise wellbeing.

We’re also looking forward to guiding clients through the process of obtaining a WELL Certification for their own spaces.

WorkLife Central will play a key part in demonstrating the WELL Standard as we strive to introduce the concepts that will undoubtedly further enhance the health and wellbeing of our people.

Keep an eye out over the coming months for more updates as Rebecca makes her way through the accreditation.

Author:

Rob Day

Chairman & Founder